Joyce's Column: June

    Well, I eventually enjoyed my holiday to the Dominican Republic once I got moved from the ‘Party Hotel’ which I didn’t know it was when I booked the holiday, the average age group was 20/25 and the noise they made was just unbearable, you couldn’t hear yourself speak at mealtime, so I asked for a move, which the tour operator did. Once settled in the new hotel, I thought I would give the beach a try, and go into the sea as I had only been using the hotel pools, but what a mistake this was. I had only been in the sea around 5 minutes or so when huge waves started to appear, I managed to ride a couple of them OK but then a massive one came, and someone at the side of me went right under the water, so I decided I should attempt to help them, another mistake. Due to helping them I twisted my knee and have ended up with a torn ligament in my left knee, a walking stick for the rest of the holiday and a knee support, not really the look I envisaged!!  Still the upside of it was that the hotel staff looked after me excellently and were at my beck and call, and I never had to queue at a bar for a drink, they were served to me not only by the glass but by the bottle it I wanted it, and at mealtimes a table in any restaurant I wanted so some good points did come out of it.

    I mentioned in my May chat column about the wedding of Teresa and Bob Nicholson, they didn’t ask for presents as they said they had all they needed but there was a donation box there for 2 charities namely British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research and the money raised in donations was £1500.

    I was sorry to hear of the recent passing of Caroline Morosoli late wife of Reg Morosoli ex DMD days, and I always thought they were like the ‘Golden Couple’ of our industry. Caroline started to be ill earlier this year, and one thing illness led to another and unfortunately the uphill struggle got too much for her and she is now at peace. Caroline’s funeral was held on 18 June at Breakspear Crematorium, Ruislip and a reception followed at Miller & Carter, Ruislip and her funeral was well attended both with family, friends and colleagues many from the amusement industry. I was only too sorry that I couldn’t make it but was very honoured to have received an invite to it. Apparently, the week before Caroline passed her younger sister Dee Dee passed too, so sad when it is 1 member of a family passes, but 2 in 2 weeks it is just devastating.  I am sure all of you that know Reg would like to offer him and his family your heartfelt condolences of the loss of his beloved late wife Caroline, and remember Reg we are all here for you should you need to reach out to any of us.

    Yet another one of our industry veterans has decided to leave the fold and retire – Peter Murphy of Sega Total Solutions retired at the end of April after 44 years in the industry.

    He started his career with New Era around 1980, where he was responsible for buying spares products and within 12 months of being employed with them, he was asked to go onto sales to expand the business for them. One of the first new products Peter got involved with was pool tables and he was buying these from Tommy Underwood of DPT in Liverpool, and each one he sold he got a commission on them, so this was a great incentive for him to push the product, not that they needed any pushing it was in the heyday of pool and they just couldn’t get enough of them, lorries were delivering them night and day to New Era’s premises. He stayed with them around 4/5 years before moving onto to pastures new.

    Roy Ruffler bought Shefras Spares and Peter joined them where he worked with Dave Sines and Evelyn Wilkinson, after around 2 years or so Deith stepped in, and then they were bought out by Corton Beach. Peter’s remit here was to build up business in the UK in both buying and selling spares and he was in the role of Sales Manager, and spent some 6 plus years with them.

    Maggi Coin was his next port of call, again travelling the UK getting new business, but the position here lasted only around 18 months as he decided that this company was not for him, and also at the time Maggi themselves were experiencing problems in the business world.

     Just before NAMCO took over Brent Electronics, they decided they wanted to set up their own spares department and asked Peter to go on board with them, but before he could rake in any new business he had to get rid of 11,000 credit boards they had in stock left over from their manufacturing side, so he had a challenge on his hands before he even started his new role. During his time here he travelled the UK, Europe and beyond obtaining new business, in fact he travelled anywhere to get new business for them, but after 14 years he decided to move on again.

    It was another biggie that beckoned him, this time it was Sega and they wanted to set up a complete spares department for all makes and types of equipment as previously they had only dealt in Sega spares, so who better to set this up for them well nobody better than Peter with his expertise in spares. He took all his expertise and set about doing this new venture for Sega, and besides spares he also introduced redemption and change machines to their portfolio. In the past 2 years 2022 onwards, they have seen their operations grow and their spares side has experienced phenomenal growth and had their best 2 years of trade ever. Peter had been with Sega for 17 plus years before he decided that he was going to retire, and he says that during all his time in the industry his team at Sega were the best team he has worked anywhere with and he wishes them all well for the future.

    After 44 years in the industry, he says he has enjoyed his time in it, and despite many changes from the early days, when the industry was really great fun as well as business, but like all business it has to move with the times. We all know that the industry is condensing and it is so much more business orientated and more professional, but he says it was still a great industry to be involved with and has no regrets whatsoever about joining it, in fact it has made him a happy working life.

    Once he has completed his treatment from his unfortunate accident at EAG in January this year, he intends to take time to spend with his family and to travel, he is not a man with any real hobbies but he does enjoy reading and once he gets into a book he finds it very hard to put down, so who knows, Peter maybe you will spend time sitting reading with a book in one hand and glass of wine in the other making eutopia for you. Whatever ‘PM’ (my pet name for him) enjoy your retirement and please don’t forget us, I know we will remember you and many of us wish you a long and happy retirement.

    I was talking with Doug Hession (late Sound Sense Electronics) and Doug is a great guitarist and was the member of a local band but due to Covid etc it tended to break away from gigs etc. Now he and his friend Pro Drummer Mick Deane have decided it is time to form a new 4 piece band, and they auditioned a guitarist named Pete Brill who I am told was a former member of The Searchers 60’s pop group. The Searchers had hits with Needles and Pins, Sweets For My Sweet, When You Walk In The Room and many others, so he could be set to join the new band. Doug says that they have already been offered gigs in Portugal once the band is formed, but he doesn’t really want gigs abroad, in fact he is quite happy if they get gigs once or twice a month and without lots of travelling entailed, I am sure you will have no problem getting gigs Doug and I remember what a great guitarist you are too, you put our heart and soul into your playing. Please do let us know when you get the band formed and what the name of it will be, then we can all look out for you.

    Many thanks for all the kind comments I received about my Chris Bell retirement article min my May chat column, and I am pleased that it was enjoyed by people and Chris himself contacted me to say how proud I had done him with the article. My response to this was ‘No Chris, you did us proud by being a great member of our amusement industry for many years, and you will be missed.’

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    26 June 2024

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